In an age where people are increasingly identifying themselves as “spiritual” but not “church people,” it is unusual to find a group of people who identify themselves as “church people” but are decidedly not spiritual.
When four former altar boys in Dallas, Texas formed the North Texas Church of Freethought, they may have hit on an idea that will be popular for atheists around the world. The philosophy of atheism is not new, but the idea of having a “church of non-believers” is, and it’s spreading courtesy of the Internet. Founded by Dr. Tim Gorski in 1995, the North Texas Church of Freethought features most of the attractions of church life – fellowship, services complete with music and readings, youth ministry, Sunday school for the kids — all without embracing a belief in a god.
One of the churches goals is to try to establish critical thinking skills and moral thinking. The North Texas Church of Freethought appears to be the start of a budding movement. Starting with 40 members in 1995, they have grown to 150 today and are thinking about constructing their own church building. The success of their idea inspired the fledgling Houston Church of Freethought, whose services are currently drawing 15 to 18 people each Sunday.
Leaders of the prototype church in Dallas have received inquiries from around the world and their web site traffic averages about 200 hits per day. The technology of the World Wide Web is what has made this “church for unbelievers” possible.
(Dallas Morning News, July 13)
— By Cody Clark